RIM Recalls 1,000 BlackBerry PlayBooks

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Research In Motion quietly recalled “approximately” 1,000 BlackBerry PlayBooks on Saturday. The company said that the devices had an operating systems defect that might cause them to be unable to properly load software during initial set up of the devices. The company also said that this particular batch of PlayBooks were shipped to Staples, a U.S. office supply chain, and that most of the units were still in the distribution channel.

“RIM determined that approximately one thousand BlackBerry PlayBook tablets (16 GB) were shipped with an OS build that may result in the devices being unable to properly load software upon initial set-up,” the company said in a statement. “RIM is working to replace the affected devices.”

The BlackBerry maker also said that customers can contact the firm if they are experiencing this trouble on their devices.

Recalling one thousand devices isn’t going to represent too much of a financial hit on the company, but there is little doubt that it will be seen as yet another tablet stumble for the company as it tries to react to Apple’s iPad phenomenon. The device, which was launched in April, has taken hits for not offering a standalone email app, and for not having many third party apps, either.

In fact, Avian Securities analyst Matthew Thornton said just that, telling Reuters that, “It probably doesn’t move the needle financially but it’s just another blemish from an execution standpoint.”

BlackBerry fan site CrackBerry was quick to dismiss the recall, however, saying, “So that’s that. Not a big deal. Nothing to really be worried about in the grand scheme of things and not many consumers should actually be affected by the issue.”

CrackBerry may have the better interpretation, however, at least judging by Wall Street’s reaction. Shares in Research In Motion dipped to a two-year low in the early hours of Monday’s trading session, but the stock had regained most of those by the mid-afternoon. As of this writing, RIMM was trading at US$43.16 per share, down 0.08 (-0.19%), on moderate volume.

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Comments

wab95

Commentary:

The company said that the devices had an operating systems defect…

...It’s called the RIM tablet OS…

The BlackBerry maker also said that customers can contact the firm if they are experiencing this trouble…

...Well not by internet! What’re they to do, smoke signals?

Recalling one thousand devices isn?t going to represent too much of a financial hit on the company…

...Because RIM haven’t actually sold any tablets anyway

Avian Securities analyst Matthew Thornton said just that, telling Reuters that, ?It probably doesn?t move the needle financially…

...Divest now, this puppy’s flatlined…

CrackBerry was quick to dismiss the recall, however, saying, ?So that?s that. Not a big deal. Nothing to really be worried about in the grand scheme of things and not many consumers should actually be affected by the issue…”

...“It’s just a flesh wound!”

Actually, I am disappointed. I had hoped RIM would do a bit better with its launch. Conjures those images of NASA’s first forays with rockets exploding on the launch pad. Not the best of beginnings.

graxspoo

Wow, they recalled all 1000 units that they sold?!

mickrussom

RIM is a sad, pathetic animal and at this pace, the only thing that will be left of them in a few years is Blackberry Enterprise Server. They already are allowing Android and iPhone devices on BES. This is because they know they are FINISHED. The AppStore is bad, the devices are largely irrelevant.

mhikl

Now I don’t like to point a finger, but obfuscation seems to reign. Has there been two iterations of the BlayBook: one problem free and the other demanding recall? Was it due to an incremental difference in the OS or a change of parts in the product run? Why do some seem to work and others don’t? Do any of them work as expected?

I agree with Wab95 hoping that RIM would do well. RIM seems determined but the last thing anyone should do is rush a product to the shelves which seems what is happening with the newcomers. Apple has some constraint on production due to Japan’s problems which may give a little breathing room to new marketers.

Gwalachmai

These comments are pathetic. “RIM haven?t actually sold any tablets anyway”? “all 1000 units that they sold”? You’re hilarious.

They sold 50,000 on launch day in the US alone, and have long since passed half a million. The 935 in this recall are a tiny fraction of a percent.

wab95

They sold 50,000 on launch day in the US alone, and have long since passed half a million

What you’re seeing is less pathos than pain and frustration. This venture started with more promise than it has delivered - a lot more. Many of us want to see a strong competitive product from RIM, and this, quite frankly, isn’t it.

As for that 0.5M, yes, I’ve heard similarly, although it is my understanding that this represents shipments to the pipeline, not necessarily what’s in customers’ hands. Do you know actual sales figures?

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